Marketing and Research Consulting for a Brave New World
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Marketers’ top priority for 2021

The year of identifiers

I want to thank you for helping to make 2020, my tenth business anniversary, another great year for Rubinson Partners, Inc. I have served over 75 clients since starting my consulting business in 2010, always with an eye towards intersecting analytics, research and digital data to drive superior marketing ROI. In fact, this has been my most “mathy” year (as my friend and colleague Marc likes to say), having applied Linear algebra and eigenvectors in new and practical ways, used Shapley values from game theory, and created a kick-a** prediction system for refining targeting using Bayesian estimators that you will hear more about in 2021.
However, my MOST rewarding effort in 2020 was helping to lead a 6-month collaboration between the MMA and Neustar to develop and prove a new brand growth and media planning framework called Outcomes Based Marketing v2.0 (OBM2).
· OBM 2 led to a 50% increase in campaign ROAS for the brand studied
· This media strategy was also shown to drive higher brand penetration and conversion of non-buyers
OBM2 is heavily math-driven from lawlike modeling approaches so there is every reason to believe the results are widely generalizable.
Of course, 2020 was also the year Covid led to massive disruptions…not the least of which was in the time series relationships of advertising to sales, throwing marketing mix modeling results into question, making MTA all the more imperative to master.
And it can’t go without mentioning that political polls signaled the death knell this year for the fiction of random sampling and taking survey answers at face value.
 So what should be the top priorities for marketers in 2021?
This is the year marketers need to get serious about the loss of identifiers…that is, those anonymized IDs that drive programmatic and that MTA providers use to link ad serving together at a user level and in turn, link that with conversion results…as Chrome and Apple will both stop supporting 3rd party identifiers at some point in the not too distant future (Chrome changes no later than 2022, certainly).
Are you going to go all in with Google, Facebook, or Amazon or are you going to work to preserve the option of serving the right ads to the right consumers across the open web, apps, and addressable TV?
For more on Marketers’ possible response strategies, read my blog here.
I also hope this is the year that marketers embrace the science of targeting that is rolling out full steam this year via the MMA and stop obsessing over reach and frequency management (heretical to say but believe me, you will come out way ahead by practicing OBM2). I am already consulting with a number of marketers and other clients on how to implement this in practice.
I can’t wait for us to create a transformational year together in 2021! As my friend Pat Hanlon likes to say (author of Primal Branding, a great book on brand positioning and narrative), “Forward!”
Best wishes for a great holiday and transformational 2021!